Planning My Perfect Day

  • By Moira McDougall
  • 09 Nov, 2016

How do I describe my Perfect Day?

The invitation to describe my Perfect Day, from start to finish, is a real challenge. There are so many ‘things’ that I love to do – how could I compress them all into a single Perfect Day?

A theme of Perfect is easier to contemplate, to imagine unfolding in the present moment.

I wake up to the dawn chorus of birdsong. I feel well rested and am looking forward to this awesome day! I meditate on my slow deep breathing, on the Energy and Light filling me from the inside and radiating into my immediate environment, into my greater world, into the Universe. Feeling light and energised I choose which course I will adventure out on for my early morning run – along the beach, the estuary path or residential streets past homes where most people are still sleeping peacefully. It is glorious running so early, when the day is fresh and new, and I think and plan and breathe to the steady rhythm of my feet caressing the earth in Blessing.

I look forward to my breakfast – a smoothie compilation of great fresh fruit and veges, and steaming mug of aromatic coffee. The day stretches ahead. I may have a few Acupuncture consultations booked - my passion in practice. I feel so grateful to be able to share this knowledge and expertise – and my heart sings when my clients benefit. I could spend some time reading and researching, planning future treatment sessions.

I could write my next blog post. I could write a letter to a loved one. I could spend time visioning and reflecting on current projects.

Lunch time! Perhaps meet a friend to share lunch and a catch up. Or create a meal from home grown produce and sit in the garden watching the birds, listening to the ocean. I could spend a few hours working in the garden, or creating and crafting some form of handwork. I could read for pure enjoyment. What about going to the movies, or browsing through the shops in a local mall just for the fun of it?

Late afternoon is a perfect time for a coffee and email check. What is happening in my world? Time to also check that I have not left anything undone that needs to be done today. I am feeling relaxed and satisfied with the way my day has unfolded, with all the events and people that have featured in my Perfect Day.

Dinner time approaches. I could be meeting a friend for dinner and an outing to the theatre or an event. I could be planning a quiet evening at home with a simply delicious home cooked meal enjoyed by candlelight. The time after dinner is one of my favourite times. I feel a sense of order and completion once the dishes are washed, and the kitchen and table are cleared. Now I may finish off any last tasks for the day.

My evening shower is a calming and cleansing ritual, a time to wash away any cares and to express Gratitude. Gratitude for all the events and the spaces in between; for the people I have encountered; for thePerfect Day that I have been gifted with. Time now to read a bit, to reflect some more, and to slip into a deep and peaceful sleep, to awaken fresh to my next Perfect Day.

Does my Perfect Day inspire you to define your own Perfect Day?


10 Day Blog Challenge

Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

# 10DBC  #freedomplan

Self Manage Chronic Pain

By Moira McDougall 14 Feb, 2017

I recently visited an elderly woman in her home, in my community therapy role. So much had been happening in her world. During the weeks since my last visit she had experienced some serious health challenges, and her brother had died.

How could I be surprised that she had not managed to continue with the exercise and walking programme we had started?

She was tired, heartbroken and wracked with guilt, describing herself as “full of self-pity” because she was mourning the loss of her dear brother. This had also reminded her of the grief she experienced when her sister died a year previously.

I sat and listened with my Whole Heart.

 I was not there to offer solutions, to slap a band-aid over her aching heart, to make light of her feelings. I told her I believed it was good, right and proper to feel such acute loss and to express it. How else do we recover from our deep wounds?

She told me about her family, her ancestors who had migrated to New Zealand from an Eastern European country, just before the time of the Depression. She spoke of a grandfather who worked many menial jobs to provide for his family of seven children. Her parents also worked hard to raise her and her many siblings – a labour of love which she reflected on with great gratitude. She spoke of one of her sisters who had endured many trials and tribulations only to finally triumph – and she now lives overseas. She spoke with love of her own children – their successes and challenges.

In the telling, she called all of her Ancestors into that small lounge. I could feel them standing around her. I told her that I believed that talking about our Loved ones brings them close.

I can recognise the entrenched belief that being occupied fully, being accountable for every minute spent at the expense of any form of pure relaxation, has been ingrained in our psyches. No wonder, then, that this dear soul believed she was “full of self-pity” because her thoughts kept turning to those she loved dearly who were no longer here, in physical form. Because she could not do it for herself, I offered her the gift of my time, so that she could express what her heart was longing to share.

When it was time for me to leave, she hugged me tightly and thanked me for “just listening”. I feel I was the recipient of the greater gift. I heard her heart sing!

Do you feel taking time to grieve is selfish? Do you believe it is a form of self-pity?

I welcome your comments.

By Moira McDougall 12 Jan, 2017

You are going to win! With these words spurring me on, how could I not be a winner!

This morning I set out on my morning run, and it was hot already. Along the way, I passed and greeted a mum on her early morning walk, pushing her two small children in their stroller. The older child called out to me as I passed them, “you are going to win!”. How could I not honour that proclamation? How could I even consider feeling tired or discouraged with those beautiful words ringing in my ears?

This set me thinking about the many times I feel discouraged, as if I am wading through sludge. I have a strong work ethic, and set myself tasks and deadlines. This works for me when I have a good idea about a desired outcome, because it keeps me on track and I can measure my progress. But what happens when I am not sure about what I want to pursue or produce?

I am marooned in indecision, in not knowing, what my ‘next step’ is. Do you experience this too?

Business and personal coaching works wonders in helping one to define a pathway, helping to break down goals into manageable steps, in order to reach the defined outcome. This supposes that one already KNOWS or at least has an idea of the desired outcome.

One beautiful practice I was invited to participate in, invited us each to choose a Word to define a theme to focus on through the new year ahead, and to choose four Supporting Words to cushion or supplement the Word.

I have chosen SURRENDER.

Nothing works easily when I am pushing uphill, trying to do it all alone. I am not giving up, just practising being present in the moment, experimenting with ‘flowing’ rather than being rigid.

My supporting words are Grace, Gratitude, Courage and Insight – all qualities I will need to call on and include in my daily living.

Which brings me back to the proclamation “You are going to win!” We are all winners when we focus on what inspires us, what gives us meaning, and practice living in the present moment. And when we have others cheering us on!

“You are going to win!” – how does that make YOU feel?

By Moira McDougall 02 Jan, 2017

I have a heavy heart moving into this new year. Endings and more endings, because I am grieving the loss of two people dear to me.

My sister Anne has dementia and she is sliding further into the space between here and there. While she is still physically present, I miss her intellect, her sharp wit, her full presence. She is my older sister. I have known her my whole life. I never imagined that I would not be with her ‘fully’. She was the drawcard for my move to live in Christchurch.

She always looked after my younger brother and I; we looked up to her and trusted her guidance. As the eldest child, she copped the authority of our parents, and she fought hard for her independence. She is super intelligent, and my brother and I had a hard time following after her at school. She chose her own path, and with her husband travelled to places I have only ever dreamt of.

Now, I call on all my parenting and therapy skills as I navigate our relationship. She can’t remember what she ate two minutes ago, or whether she has eaten at all. She can’t dress herself. Her spatial awareness is impaired – steps are a challenge, and she doesn’t recognise familiar objects. Loud noises and busyness upset her, and her tolerance levels are reduced. Soon, she will need to be placed into full time care, which seems like a jail sentence. Excepting, there is no parole to look forwards to.

My heart is breaking. How did her Soul choose this challenge in this Lifetime?


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